How to sell your house fast

by Housesimple on 5th May 2018

Selling your home can take a long time, but most sellers are value-motivated, meaning they will often hold out longer for a higher offer.

A quick house sale can be a priority, if, for example, you are relocating to a new location or your circumstances have changed. In this case, you want to sell your house fast.

In many cases, the most straightforward route to selling your house quickly is to lower your asking price, but there is plenty of ways you can be proactive to speed up the selling process. In this guide, we will look at some top tips for how to sell your house fast without losing value.

1. Hire a storage unit

Decluttering is the first step in getting your home ready for a viewing. Remember that buyers will want to look in your cupboards and attic to check out your storage space. Hire a unit for a few weeks to keep your things safe and your cupboards looking big and empty.

2. Stage your home

Staging your home involves the clever use of furniture to show off its best features. Think about what your target buyers will be looking for. If you have a three-bedroom house, they're likely to be a family, or a couple planning to start one. Make sure you have a bed in every bedroom (don't leave one as an office) to show off the space.

3. Focus on the living room

When we carried out an online study to find which room buyers spend the most amount of time looking at, we discovered to our surprise that it was, in fact, the living room rather than the kitchen or the bathroom. You should, therefore, make sure this room is showcased in the best possible light both in your online listing and when you are showing buyers around your home.

4. Be on the ball with your EPC

You need an energy performance certificate (EPC) before you can sell your house. While the evaluation itself typically takes less than an hour, it's a good idea to have the certificate before putting your home on the market. You don't want your sale to be delayed because there are no appointments available.

5. Get professional photos taken

Property listings that feature professional photographs sell 50% faster than listings without them and 39% closer to the asking price, so it’s well worth spending some time and effort to get them right. Remember that anything that does not look great on a photograph can be magnified online, so any evidence of dirt or clutter – or even a poorly-lit image – might be enough to put interested buyers off from viewing your home.  

6. List your house in spring

Spring tends to be the best time to sell your house, as this is when the property market is at its most competitive. There is less to deter people from viewing houses, so you should have a better chance of selling your house fast.

7. Advertise on as many websites as possible

More than 95% of house hunters now start their property search online. Many of them start this search by using online portals, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, where they can filter by location and budget to find the properties that are most relevant to them. Traditional advertising methods – such as local newspapers – are still newspapers, but listing your property online is essential if you want to sell your house fast.

8. Post on social media

For a fast way to advertise your home, post your listing on social media and encourage friends and family to share the link. This, as well as optimising your property description for search, can help to get more eyes on your listing. Don't neglect LinkedIn, either – you might catch the attention of professionals moving to your area for work.

9. Find a good online estate agent

When you sell your home online with HouseSimple, your property is listed on 500 of the UK's most popular property websites – including Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation – meaning that your listing is circulated among 10 million buyers and tenants. Selling your house through an online estate gives you access to a massive network of buyers, but you can also benefit from specialist skills that have been learned from years of experience. Better still, you don’t have to sacrifice a percentage of the final sale price as is common with a high street estate agent. Instead, we charge a low flat fee paid upfront.

10. Set a realistic asking price

You can use HouseSimple’s free house price calculator today to get an instant valuation that is based on the size of your property as well as your postcode. In order set a fair and accurate asking price that matches the true value of your home, you should have your home professionally valued – you may wish to consult two or three estate agents to do this. You can book a free house valuation with HouseSimple at a time that suits you, and we will send a local assessor to provide you with a personalised valuation guide.

11. Arrange viewings early in the process

So, you’ve set an asking price that is fair and realistic, you’ve got a dozen-or-so beautiful images taken by a professional photographer and you’ve written an enticing that summarises everything desirable about your home and your local area. If you’ve done all of this, the enquiries you receive from interested buyers should be exactly the people you want through your front door. Now, it’s time to make space in your calendar for showing people around your tidy and de-cluttered home.

12. Find a chain-free buyer

The dreaded property ‘chain’ is the biggest obstacle to selling houses fast. This is where the sale of one house depends on the sale of another, and then subsequently upon a sequence of linked house sales. Around 90% of property sales in the UK depend on a housing chain, but if you’re lucky enough to find a chain-free buyer, you have a much greater chance of selling your house fast. This includes first-time buyers, second-home buyers or anyone looking to buy-to-let. Similarly, if there are any complications around the property you are moving into, it helps to be as flexible as possible, whether that’s staying with family for a short while or being prepared to move into rented accommodation temporarily. 

13. Start conveyancing early

To speed up the sale of your house, you should involve a licensed conveyancer – or a solicitor – as early as possible to handle the legalities around your house sale. A conveyancer will draft up a contract and apply for title deeds. The conveyancing process usually takes between eight to twelve weeks, but this can vary greatly, sometimes taking much longer. Sellers can speed up this process by instructing a conveyancer or solicitor before a buyer has been found, so they can address any title problems beforehand and speed up sale once a buyer has been found.

14. Accept the best offer on the table

There are so many economic factors that affect house prices that it’s a harsh truth that sometimes your house won’t sell for as much as you want it to. If value is your main motivation, you’re better off carrying out some low-cost home improvements and waiting for the market to pick up again. If your priority is a quick house sale, you should keep a minimum price in the back in your mind and be prepared to accept less than the asking price. Some buyers find it tempting to lower the asking price if the buyer prepared to pay in cash. Given that around a third of house sales collapse at some point in the transaction process, a cash offer can be very tempting to accept even if it’s not quite what you were hoping for. Once you’ve accepted an offer, it’s time to wrap up conveyancing as quick as possible and secure the sale.

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